Upgrade Lync 2013 to Skype for Business

I was very excited when I read the Skype for Business features earlier this year.  One of the big changes was the ability to perform an in place upgrade from Lync 2013 to Skype for Business.  When upgrading previous of versions of Lync a side-by-side method was used, which meant two Lync environments running at the same time.  With the new in place method everything can be done on the one server.  I decided I would try this out on our internal Lync 2013 Standard server.

Microsoft offer two versions of the in place upgrade.

  • The move method. No downtime for users
  • The offline method. Requires downtime

I am performing the offline method as this is the option Microsoft recommends.  I will also mention that only Lync 2013 can be upgraded to Skype for Business.  If you have Lync 2010 you must upgrade to Lync 2013 first.

To begin with we must upgrade the topology to Skype for Business 2015.  To perform this do the following:

  1. Connect to a server that does not have any Lync components installed.  You will not be able to perform these steps if the server already has Lync components installed.
  2. Mount the Skype for Business iso
  3. Run setup.exe located in setup\amd64
  4. Install the core components
  5. Once the core components are installed. Open the Deployment Wizard (should open automatically) and install the Administrative toolsInstall Admin Tools
  6. Once complete open the Topology Builder from the Start Menu. You will need to download the topology from existing deployment
  7. Locate your front end server in the menu, right click and select “Upgrade to Skype for Business 2015…”Upgade Topology
  8. Now publish your topology

Now that the topology has been upgraded you are ready to upgrade your Lync server.

Please ensure that your Lync server meets the following requirements:

  • You must have KB2987510 & KB2982006 installed
  • SQL 2012 must have at least SP1
  • You have 34GB free HDD space

Failure to perform the above will result in the upgrade readiness check to fail.

Pre Req Error Updates


To upgrade your Lync server perform the following

  1. RDP to your Lync Front End server
  2. Mount the Skype for Business 2015 iso
  3. Run the setup.exe located in setup\amd64
  4. If you have followed all the previous steps correctly it will automatically install the required pre-requisites, uninstall Lync 2013, uninstall SQL 2012, install SQL 2014 and install Skype for Business 2015.  This took approximately 45 minutes to complete.
  5. If all goes well everything will have a green tick next to itSkype for Business Success
  6. To complete the process open the Skype for Business Server Managment Shell and run the command “start-cspool” and specify the FQDN of your front end server

It is that easy.  You should now be able to connect with your Lync client.

A massive improvement over the previous upgrade process.

   One Comment

  1. Mathew

    Is the 34 GB free space madatory? I currently have only 22 GB, on my Lync Server 2013, and was going to proceed with the upgrade when I came across your article. I did not see this requirement mentioned in the TechNet articles. (unless I missed it 🙁 ).

    Thanks. Regards.

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